CMT Unveils Its Biggest Unscripted Slate With 7 New Series (Exclusive)
"Tobacco Wars," "Death Valley" and a badass competition from Steve Austin highlight the ambitious slate as the cable network looks to grow to four nights of originals by 2016. "Guntucky" and "Dog and Beth" will also return for second seasons.
A version of this story appeared in the Dec. 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Watch out, Spike TV.
Fellow Viacom-owned network CMT is pursuing younger viewers and men with its largest unscripted programming slate yet, a push to have four nights of originals by 2016.
"We're trying to create content that is bolder, louder and more repeatable," CMT executive vp development Jayson Dinsmore tells THR.
To that end, CMT (formerly Country Music Television) has greenlighted seven new series -- including My Big Redneck Family, Tobacco Wars and Death Valley -- helping fill out three nights of originals. The network has scheduled producer SallyAnn Salsano's previously announced Party Down South for Thursdays at 10 p.m. in the hope that Jersey Shore viewers will flock to a similar show in the same time slot.
With 60 percent female viewership, CMT hopes to lure more men with former wrestler Steve Austin's "ultimate badass" competition, Broken Skull Ranch, which will join the male-focused Orange County Choppers. "We're not abandoning the ship," Dinsmore says. "We want to young the audience down over the course of our four-year plan."
Here's a look at CMT's slate, which includes second-season renewals for Dog and Beth: On the Hunt and Guntucky.
MY BIG REDNECK FAMILY (premieres on Saturday, Jan. 18)
Thirteen half-hour episodes
After sharing their last three vacations with the world, the Clampet family is back; only this time, they're hanging out in their hometown of Shreveport, La. My Big Redneck Family will document America's favorite family in this all-new comedy following their everyday routines and parenting misadventures. From Jared's awkward introduction to the world of temporary employment, to Doug's relentless pursuit of intimacy with Wendy, it's clear that the vacation is over, but their real-life comedy has just begun.
My Big Redneck Family is produced by Pink Sneakers with executive producers Kimberly Belcher Ehrhard and John Ehrhard. Lewis Bogach and Joe Livecchi executive produce for CMT.
TATTOO TITANS (premieres February 2014)
Eight one-hour episodes
Television's first-ever self-contained tattoo competition series inks up in early 2014 when four of the country's best tattoo artists face off each week for a chance at $10,000 in cold hard cash. Three rounds, 10 hours, no compromises. Which artist can sling the best ink to take down the rest of the competition?
Tattoo Titans is produced by Original Media with executive producer Charlie Corwin and co-EP Sam Berns. Jordan Harman, Livecchi and Dinsmore executive produce for CMT.
STEVE AUSTIN'S BROKEN SKULL RANCH (premieres June 2014)
Ten one-hour episodes
In this ultimate badass competition show, Steve Austin brings eight elite athletes to his Broken Skull Ranch in Texas to test their strength, stamina and endurance. Each episode contestants go head-to-head until the last man standing earns the right to take on the toughest obstacle course in America, the "Skullbuster," and the chance to win $10,000.
The series is produced by Cris Abrego Productions with executive producers Cris Abrego, Steve Austin, Jack Heller, Rabih Gholam and Ben Samek. Melanie Moreau and Livecchi executive produce for CMT.
DEATH VALLEY (premieres summer/fall 2014)
Eight one-hour episodes
Cut off from society and all the comforts it provides, this docuseries follows five Death Valley residents who brave the elements -- and the perils of a lawless environment -- in order to live their lives on their own terms.
The series is produced by Glassman Media with Andrew Glassman as executive producer. Julia Silverton and Dinsmore executive produce for CMT.
FNA USA (premieres April 2014)
Six one-hour episodes
Each week on FNA USA, we'll countdown the top 20 riotous reasons that America is the most badass, Olympic medal-winning, dictator-toppling, hot dog-eating competing superpower in the world. Based on the premise that Americans work hard and play harder than anyone else, FNA USA celebrates everything from six-packed babes to six packs of beer; and if it rocks, we invented it!
FNA USA is produced by Juma Entertainment with executive producers Bob Horowitz, Lewis Fenton, Len Webber and Tim Golier. Harman, Livecchi and Dinsmore are executive producers for CMT.
TOBACCO WARS (premieres spring/summer 2014)
Five one-hour episodes
Tobacco Wars is set in the high-stakes world of Kentucky's dark fire tobacco industry, following the families of two fifth-generation tobacco men. In dark fire country, carefully guarded farming know-how and family traditions are passed down -- and freedom is as essential as the air they breathe. It's a high-stress world, but these folks blow off steam with ease, living their country life to the fullest with endless wagering and outrageous country-boy hijinks.
The series is produced by Leftfield Pictures with executive producers Brent Montgomery, David George, Jordana Hochman and Matthew J. Braley. David Brown, Augi Jakovac, Chuck Ardezzone and Frank Monti are co-executive producers. Ryan Becherer serves as consulting producer. Livecchi and Bogach are the executive producers for CMT.
MY DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY (premieres April 2014)
Eight one-hour episodes
Commando-turned-family fixer and dubbed "Teen Whisperer," Dave Vitalli pulls no punches as he comes to the aid of teenagers and parents in distress. Armed with lie detectors and years of experience navigating his way through war zones, Dave's presence provides a wakeup call for the badly behaving teens. Mom and Dad beware, however, as his no-holds-barred approach will put their behavior under as much scrutiny as their teen's.
The series is produced by Shed Media with executive producers Pamela Healey, Dan Peirson and Jeff Cvengros. Moreau and Livecchi executive produce for CMT.
GUNTUCKY (returns in March 2014)
Eight one-hour episodes
When it comes to firearms, the Sumner's family-owned business, Knob Creek Gun Range, is one of the most recognized names in the industry. Customers from around the world visit their Kentucky range to try out, pawn and purchase a broad range of legal firearms. This season the family bands together for some of their loudest adventures to date, including vintage tanks, martial arts, war re-enactments, monster truck fireballs and an explosive range wedding.
Guntucky is produced by Leftfield Pictures (Pawn Stars), with Montgomery, George, Shawn Witt, Adam Fox and Evan B. Stone serving as executive producers. Bogach and Dinsmore executive produce for CMT.
DOG AND BETH: ON THE HUNT (returns spring 2014)
Eleven one-hour episodes
The world's most famous bounty hunters are at it again! Dog, Beth, Leland and Dakota are back on the road, crisscrossing the country to train fellow bondsman and help track down some of America's most dangerous criminals. With their trademark candor and strong belief in second chances, the Chapmans motivate and inspire both the local bondsmen and the fugitives captured along the way. This season Dog introduces new high-tech surveillance gear and the latest in cutting-edge ballistic equipment. Expect more adrenaline-filled hunts, dramatic captures and emotional moments of redemption than ever before.
The series is executive-produced by Duane and Beth Chapman and their production company, Entertainment By Bonnie and Clyde, and by Electus (Ben Silverman, Chris Grant, Jimmy Fox and Corie Henson) and Alan Deutsch. Matt Trierweiler is the executive producer for CMT.